John C. Tull's picture

Judge's Review: 79 Rating - 4 Seasons Autumn ‘20 by Mother Earth Brew Co.

December, 2020
Judges Rating: 
19 / 24
6 / 6
32 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
14 / 20

4 Seasons Autumn ‘20 by Mother Earth Brew Co. was judged as a Specialty Wood-Aged Beer (33B). It is described as an Imperial version of an Oatmeal Stout (16B) that was barrel aged and flavored with salted caramel. A barrel aroma is immediately present with bourbon, vanilla and mild oak tones. Additionally, rich fruit esters, reminiscent of Fruity Pebbles cereal, linger underneath the barrel aromas along with modest roast and sweet malt to create a fairly complex overall nose. The color is dark brown, almost black. Held in light, some garnet highlights sparkle through. An off-white head clings in a thin ring around the edge of the glass. The flavor mimics the aroma: bourbon barrel flavors (whiskey, wood, vanilla), but with some unusual flavors possibly from the salted caramel additions. These off flavors include a grain-like astringency and a big fruit quality that seems slightly artificial. The sweet and fruity flavors linger and do not balance very well with the malt base. Additionally, the barrel flavors seem to be vying for the lead, creating a clash of wood and alcohol with fruity sweetness. The body is medium full, and alcohol lends some warmth to the mouthfeel. The sugary sweetness makes the mouthfeel somewhat cloying in the finish. Overall, this beer has a lot of complexity in both the aroma and the flavor, I’m just not sure the many characteristics play that well with one another.